Las Vegas isn't always an option for a ritzy getaway, but Black Hawk is just an hour's drive from Denver for a scaled back version of Sin City. The recent $35 million overhaul of the Isle Casino Hotel brings the establishment up to par for high rollers and casual slots players alike, and a new eatery inside the hotel offers a surprise from a storied Reno wine and restaurant family.
Gregg Carano is the son of Don Carano, who opened the Eldorado Hotel & Casino in Reno in 1973 and established the Ferrari-Carano winery in Sonoma County in 1981 with his wife, Rhonda. The Roxy Restaurant & Bar has long been part of the family's Reno hotel, and Gregg Carano just opened a second outpost of the ritzy steakhouse inside the Isle, taking over the space that was previously Farradday's.
Beef is front and center at the Roxy (not associated with either the new Broadway Roxy or the Roxy Theatre in Five Points); Carano notes that he turned to local purveyor Lombardi Brothers Meats to flesh out the menu. Specialties include tomahawk ribeyes, bone-in Kansas City strips and bone-in filet mignons, which the restaurateur (and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America) says is a rare treat for steak lovers.
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The Roxy boasts an exhibition kitchen turning out far more than just steaks; Carano points out seafood and pasta — such as mushroom ravioli with porcini cream sauce — as favorites. There's also a luxurious bar serving 52 styles of martini, a signature drink at the original Reno location. And, of course, there's a big selection of Ferrari-Carano wines as well as other renowned vintages.
Carano notes that you don't need to be a gambler to enjoy the hotel and restaurant. "You could stay at the hotel and eat at the Roxy without ever setting foot on the casino floor," he points out, adding that folks are lured to the mountain town for fishing, hiking, biking and other outdoor activities, so a steak is an excellent way to cap a vigorous outing.
"Black Hawk is not the sleepy town it once was," he continues. "It has some of the best hotels anywhere in the country."
The Roxy Restaurant & Bar is located at 401 Main Street in Black Hawk and is open for dinner beginning at 5 p.m. Thursday through Monday (closed on Tuesday and Wednesday). There's also a casual burger bar called Dash Cafe at the hotel in case you haven't hit the jackpot and need to save your spare change for the slot machines. For more details, visit the Isle's website.